Ipswich nostalgia: seven city center shops we sorely miss

12:33 28 April 2022

Do you remember spending time and money in some of those missed shops in Ipswich?

Take a trip down memory lane and look at some of the shops that once stood out in Ipswich town centre.

The pretty footman

It was one of the largest stores in Ipswich, located on a site between Westgate Street and Tower Ramparts.

Huge queues were forming for sales at Footman’s store.

– Credit: Dave Kindred

A part of downtown for over a century, Footman’s was a place where most things could be purchased – from groceries to furniture.

The business was founded by Robert Footman as a linen, draper and silk haberdasher at Buttermarket, Ipswich on 21 June 1815, three days after the Battle of Waterloo.


Woolworths was a favorite family store where people went to pick up their famous pick’n’mix or the latest record.

Based in Carr Street, Woolies, as it was affectionately known, had a store in the street from the 1920s, but the store was completely rebuilt in 1968.

The store closed permanently in 2008 after the chain collapsed, but is still fondly remembered by many.


Grimwades is one of the largest stores to have settled in Ipswich

Grimwades is one of the largest stores to have settled in Ipswich
– Credit: Archant

First opened in Westgate Street in 1844, Grimwades was a popular store in Ipswich town center for over a century.

The menu of the old Grimwades cafe was left in the window of the renovated UN shop

The menu of the old Grimwades cafe left in the window of the refurbished store unit
– Credit: Archant

The shop we really missed was an old-fashioned outfitter for ladies and gents that also sold school uniforms. In his later years, there was a restaurant on the first floor.

Since Grimwades closed, the building has become a greeting card shop and a cheap clothing store.


Based in Fore Street for over a century, the Sneezum family ran a pawn shop in the town.

By the late 1940s, the pawnshop trade was largely a thing of the past and the Sneezums moved upmarket as jewelers and goldsmiths.

Martin and Newby

A mid-1930s photograph of Lower Orwell Street (right) and Fore Street, Ipswich.  Sneezum's shop is in

Sneezum’s shop is in the center and part of Martin and Newby’s shop is to the right of this photo from Ipswich
– Credit: Archant

Trading in Fore Street, Martin and Newby’s store was opened in 1873 by John Martin.

He employed his nephew Frederick Newby. Mr. Martin died in 1885 and Mr. Newby took over the business.

In 1897, the shop was demolished and a new unit was built on the site.

The store last closed in 2004.

Andy’s Records

The Suffolk-based record company that traded in Dogs Head Street before moving to Buttermarket for over 40 years.

Number one...Andy Gray of Andy's Records, Bury St Edmunds, with Best Independent award

Number one… Andy Gray of Andy’s Records in front of his store
– Credit: Archant

A popular place for music lovers to buy the latest records or their favorite records.


The iconic Butter Market-based BHS closed in 2016 after the business went into operation.

Last day of trading at BHS in Ipswich on August 3, 2016

Last day of trading at BHS in Ipswich on August 3, 2016

The Ipswich branch was one of the chain’s flagship stores and has been on its current site since the late 1990s after moving from Tavern Street.

Fraser Group, the company that owns Sports Direct, House of Fraser, Game and Jack Wills alongside other major brands, bought the BHS department store in early 2020.

BHS staff permanently closed the store on Wednesday.

BHS staff permanently closed the store on Wednesday.
– Credit: Su Anderson

Comments are closed.